Shalynn Billings Senior Goodbye


High school has honestly been one of the hardest four years of my life, but it has also been one of the most eventful parts of it. I thought I knew who I was walking into my first day freshman year on my birthday, but I have come a long way and learned so much. 

I found my passions, figured out who I wanted to be in this world, grew with friends and lost friends. I gained new values and also kept morals which are stronger than ever today. 

I found myself at Grayslake North, and now I will go on into adulthood with those ideas which I’m sure some of it may change in the future. 

Coming into it, I knew I always wanted to do something with writing, so I joined journalism. I can honestly say I hated it the first year and decided not to continue after freshman year; however, I came back my junior year because something was drawing me back to it. Again, I hated it, but not enough to quit this time, so I went into it for my senior year. I still don’t enjoy some aspects of what being a journalist is, but for some reason I am really good at being one. 

Journalism helped me find things out about myself that I didn’t know I had in me. I was never a person to win awards and had accepted that fact a long time ago, but I ended up winning several for my journalistic skills. I gained more confidence in myself with this class, and I think that is why I was drawn back to it. Although I have to say goodbye to this class, I won’t be saying goodbye to being a reporter and editor and will continue with it in college. It may not be the career I pursue in life, but I found a new hobby I never knew I would like. 

My relationship with journalism has always been a bumpy one, and my adviser has been routing for me from the beginning because she saw something in me I couldn’t. I am truly saddened I won’t get to spend the rest of the year with my fellow editors and reporters. 

Sophomore year I learned I needed to push myself when others wouldn’t. English came easy to me. I started to find it difficult to care about something that was too easy for me, so I asked to be placed into honors. For quite a while that became a fight I was not willing to lose. My English teacher that year told me my writing level wasn’t where it needed to be to excel in an honors classroom. I was determined to prove that teacher wrong, and I have every semester with a good passing grade in honors. 

I now know I can succeed in any way I want as long as I truly want it and I think everyone should all go on with their lives with that mentality because I know I have learned to inspire myself. 

The world is big and it can be scary to enter it in a time like this, but we all have to keep believing in ourselves and trust that things go the way they should. 

The Class of 2020 hasn’t had the end of the year we have always thought we would get, but somehow we will come out of this even stronger, ready to head into the world and follow our dreams. I am ready. Thank you, Grayslake North.